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Beer Prices May Rise If New Regulations Are Approved

Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN/AP) - Farmers and Brewers have more in common than you think.

"We have two industries in upstate New York that are doing very well," said Senator Charles Schumer on Monday. "One is agriculture... our second industry, you wouldn't think it's related, is our brewing industry."

Schumer says that the two industries have a working relationship. Brewers often provide what is called "spent grain" to farmers, giving them a low-cost or free source of feed for their livestock. "(Spent Grain) is actually better for a cow or pig than regular grain because it's moist so they don't get dehydrated, and it has the nutrients that are used in the beer-making process."

That process may soon change.

The FDA is considering a proposal that would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as animal feed manufacturers. Such a classification would mean new requirements for brewers.

"This is the kind of stuff that makes people scratch their heads and say 'what is going on in Washington?'" Schumer said. "Not a single animal has been reported getting in any way hurt, sick, or ill from the grain. It would put a particular burden on our craft brewers, because they can't go through this long process and hire a scientist and fill out all of these reports and everything else."

Brewers say the new requirements would drive up their costs and force them to raise beer prices.

Would that classify as a statewide emergency? "Obviously," Schumer says.

Filed Under :  
Locations : New YorkWashington
People : Charles Schumer
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